Special Issue "Selected Papers from 1st International Electronic Conference on Biological Diversity, Ecology, and Evolution (BDEE 2021)"

A special issue of Diversity (ISSN 1424-2818). This special issue belongs to the section "Phylogeny and Evolution".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 July 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The 1st International Electronic Conference on Biological Diversity, Ecology and Evolution (BDEE 2021), sponsored by the MDPI open access journal Diversity, will be held online from 15 to 31 March 2021. This event enables researchers in the science of biodiversity to present their research and exchange ideas with their colleagues without the need for travel. All proceedings will be published on the conference homepage in open access format.

Through this event, we aim to cover the following topics:

  1. Marine diversity
  2. Animal diversity
  3. Plant diversity
  4. Microbial diversity and culture collections
  5. Chemical biodiversity and chemical ecology
  6. Biodiversity conservation
  7. Biogeography and macroecology
  8. Phylogeny and evolution
  9. Biodiversity loss and dynamics
  10. Mesophotic ecosystems diversity
  11. Invasive species and diversity

The conference will be completely free of charge—both to attend, and for scholars to upload and present their latest work on the conference platform.

For selected papers that were presented at the congress authors are invited to submit their extended versions to this Special Issue of the journal Diversity after the conference, with 20% discount on the fees. Submitted papers should be extended to the size of regular research or review articles, with at least a 50% extension of new results. All submitted papers will undergo our standard peer-review procedure. Accepted papers will be published in open-access format in Diversity and collected together in the Special Issue website. There are no page limitations for this journal.

Prof. Dr. Michael Wink
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Diversity is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (17 papers)

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Research

Article
Cydalima perspectalis in Poland—8 Years of Invasion against the Background of Three Other Invasive Species
Diversity 2022, 14(1), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14010022 - 31 Dec 2021
Viewed by 192
Abstract
The box tree moth (Cydalima perspectalis) origins from East Asia. In Europe, it was recorded for the first time in 2007, and in Poland in 2012. By the end of 2020, it was found all over Poland. There are no published [...] Read more.
The box tree moth (Cydalima perspectalis) origins from East Asia. In Europe, it was recorded for the first time in 2007, and in Poland in 2012. By the end of 2020, it was found all over Poland. There are no published data on the range of C. perspectalis occurrence in Poland because it is not a quarantine pest in the European Union and is not subject to official monitoring. Data collected in 2018–2020 via a website dedicated to monitoring, for the first time, illustrate the current range and its largest concentrations in southern and central Poland. The monitoring confirmed that the main directions of the invasion are related to the main communication routes of Poland (south-north) and are of a long-distance character. The dispersal pattern corresponds to the model developed for Cameraria ohridella: a stratified dispersal model that considers long-distance road/rail transport. The second important factor contributing to the invasion of C. perspectalis are large human communities enabling rapid local dispersion (a diffusion model). Comparing its invasion with the monitoring data from 2007–2013 of two other invasive pests of Poland: Ostrinia nubilalis and Diabrotica virgifera, shows that a diffusion model best describes the spatial spread of these pests only to uninhabited neighboring areas. Full article
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Article
Microbiome Changes of Endemic Lake Baikal Sponges during Bleaching Syndrome Development
Diversity 2021, 13(12), 653; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13120653 - 08 Dec 2021
Viewed by 420
Abstract
The sponge (Porifera) microbiome is an indicator of both natural and anthropogenic stressors. Studying Baikal sponge microbial communities could help reveal if there is a connection between bacterial symbionts and a mass sponge bleaching event that was recently detected; 16S rRNA sequencing was [...] Read more.
The sponge (Porifera) microbiome is an indicator of both natural and anthropogenic stressors. Studying Baikal sponge microbial communities could help reveal if there is a connection between bacterial symbionts and a mass sponge bleaching event that was recently detected; 16S rRNA sequencing was performed among healthy and diseased freshwater sponges of Lubomirskia baikalensis and Baikalospongia intermedia, which were collected from Lake Baikal, Russia. A phylum-based taxonomic classification showed that Chlorophyta, Acidobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria and Cyanobacteria were most abundant across samples. When comparing healthy and diseased L. baikalensis samples, large variations in microbial composition were found at the phylum level. Comparative analyses, which were performed for the first time for B. intermedia, showed a decrease in Chlorophyta (unicellular green algae) and an increase in Bacteroidetes and Cyanobacteria in diseased specimens. At the genus level, the Opitutus (Verrucomicrobia), Planctomyces, and Nitrospira content increased in all diseased sponges, which reflected a general tendency toward an increase in Cyanobacteria in diseased sponges. Comparative analysis of the diseased and healthy sponge metagenomes showed that diseased sponges underwent various nonspecific changes in bacterial composition. The bacterial community composition is probably influenced by sponge type and degree of disease affection. Full article
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Article
Biodiversity Evaluation: From Endorsed Indexes to Inclusion of a Pollinator Indicator
Diversity 2021, 13(10), 477; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13100477 - 29 Sep 2021
Viewed by 442
Abstract
There is increasing interest in evaluating biodiversity to preserve ecosystem services. Researchers can sustain policymakers by providing tools, such as indexes and indicators, that need constant implementation to become accepted standards. Implementation may vary from re-evaluation of existing indicators to introduction of new [...] Read more.
There is increasing interest in evaluating biodiversity to preserve ecosystem services. Researchers can sustain policymakers by providing tools, such as indexes and indicators, that need constant implementation to become accepted standards. Implementation may vary from re-evaluation of existing indicators to introduction of new ones based on emerging threats to biodiversity. With the aim of contributing to the compelling need to estimate and counterbalance pollinator loss, we screened existing bioindicators. We first selected indexes/indicators applied to agricultural contexts and concurrently endorsed by a regulatory agency. We then extended our analysis to indexes/indicators based on arthropod taxa and formally recognized at least by national bodies. Our procedure identified a combination of surveys of various animal taxa and remote landscape analyses (e.g., using a GIS and other cartographic tools). When the animals are arthropods, most indexes/indicators can only address confined environments (e.g., grasslands, riversides). Indicator strength was improved by the simultaneous inclusion of biotic and abiotic components. Pollinator sensitivity to changes at micro-habitat level is widely appreciated and may help distinguish agricultural practices. A biodiversity index based on pollinators, including a wide monitoring scheme supplemented by citizen science, is currently fostered at the European level. The results obtained using such an index may finally enable focusing of strategic funding. Our analysis will help to reach this goal. Full article
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Article
Historical Zooplankton Composition Indicates Eutrophication Stages in a Neotropical Aquatic System: The Case of Lake Amatitlán, Central America
Diversity 2021, 13(9), 432; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13090432 - 08 Sep 2021
Viewed by 992
Abstract
This paper presents a study of freshwater zooplankton biodiversity, deemed as a reliable indicator of water quality. The Guatemalan Lake Amatitlán, currently used as a water source, has shown signs of progressive eutrophication, with perceptible variations of the local zooplankton diversity. Biotic and [...] Read more.
This paper presents a study of freshwater zooplankton biodiversity, deemed as a reliable indicator of water quality. The Guatemalan Lake Amatitlán, currently used as a water source, has shown signs of progressive eutrophication, with perceptible variations of the local zooplankton diversity. Biotic and abiotic parameters were determined at four sites of Lake Amatitlán (Este Centro, Oeste Centro, Bahía Playa de Oro, and Michatoya) in 2016 and 2017. The local composition, the species richness and abundance of zooplankton, and the system environmental parameters were analyzed during both years surveyed. Biological data suggesting eutrophication of this tropical system were obtained, including a high rotifer abundance (11 species: the rotifers Brachionushavanaensis (109 ind L−1) and Keratellaamericana (304 ind L−1) were the most abundant species in this lake). The presumably endemic diaptomid copepod species, Mastigodiaptomusamatitlanensis, was absent in our samples, but we report the unprecedented occurrence of two Asian cyclopoid copepods (i.e., Thermocyclopscrassus and Mesocyclops thermocyclopoides) for Lake Amatitlán and Guatemala. The presence of larger zooplankters like adults and immature copepods (i.e., Arctodiaptomusdorsalis) and cladocerans (Ceriodaphnia sp.) at site “Este Centro” indicates a relatively healthy zooplankton community and represents a focal point for managing the conservation of this lake. Full article
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Article
Integrative Descriptions of Two New Tardigrade Species along with the New Record of Mesobiotus skorackii Kaczmarek et al., 2018 from Canada
Diversity 2021, 13(8), 394; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13080394 - 22 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 889
Abstract
Two new tardigrade species from a moss sample collected in Canada, one representing Macrobiotus hufelandi complex and the second one belonging to the genus Bryodelphax, are described. Integrative analysis was undertaken based on morphological and morphometric data (using both light and scanning [...] Read more.
Two new tardigrade species from a moss sample collected in Canada, one representing Macrobiotus hufelandi complex and the second one belonging to the genus Bryodelphax, are described. Integrative analysis was undertaken based on morphological and morphometric data (using both light and scanning electron microscopy (SEM)) combined with multilocus molecular analysis (nuclear sequences, i.e., 18S rRNA, 28S rRNA and ITS-2 as well as mitochondrial COI barcode sequences). Based on COI sequences, Macrobiotus birendrai sp. nov. is most similar to Mac. canaricus (p-distance 17%), whereas Bryodelphax mareki sp. nov. is most similar to Bry. parvulus (p-distance 16%). Both species differ also from their congeners in some morphological and morphometric characters of adults and/or details of egg chorion. Additionally, a large population of Mesobiotus skorackii was found in the sample and this is the first report of this species outside its terra typica in Kirghizia. The original description of this species was prepared based solely on the morphology and morphometry, therefore, here we provide updated data for this species enclosing morphometric and molecular data for the Canadian population. Full article
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Article
Mammal Species Richness at a Catena and Nearby Waterholes during a Drought, Kruger National Park, South Africa
Diversity 2021, 13(8), 387; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13080387 - 18 Aug 2021
Viewed by 601
Abstract
Catenas are undulating hillslopes on a granite geology characterised by different soil types that create an environmental gradient from crest to bottom. The main aim was to determine mammal species (>mongoose) present on one catenal slope and its waterholes and group them by [...] Read more.
Catenas are undulating hillslopes on a granite geology characterised by different soil types that create an environmental gradient from crest to bottom. The main aim was to determine mammal species (>mongoose) present on one catenal slope and its waterholes and group them by feeding guild and body size. Species richness was highest at waterholes (21 species), followed by midslope (19) and sodic patch (16) on the catena. Small differences observed in species presence between zones and waterholes and between survey periods were not significant (p = 0.5267 and p = 0.9139). In total, 33 species were observed with camera traps: 18 herbivore species, 10 carnivores, two insectivores and three omnivores. Eight small mammal species, two dwarf antelopes, 11 medium, six large and six mega-sized mammals were observed. Some species might not have been recorded because of drought, seasonal movement or because they travelled outside the view of cameras. Mammal presence is determined by food availability and accessibility, space, competition, distance to water, habitat preferences, predators, body size, social behaviour, bound to territories, etc. The variety in body size and feeding guilds possibly indicates a functioning catenal ecosystem. This knowledge can be beneficial in monitoring and conservation of species in the park. Full article
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Article
A GIS Modeling Study of the Distribution of Viviparous Invasive Alien Fish Species in Eastern Europe in Terms of Global Climate Change, as Exemplified by Poecilia reticulata Peters, 1859 and Gambusia holbrooki Girarg, 1859
Diversity 2021, 13(8), 385; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13080385 - 17 Aug 2021
Viewed by 617
Abstract
The potential distribution of tropical fish species in Eastern Europe—Gambusia holbrooki (introduced for biological control) and Poecilia reticulata (aquarium species, found in waste waters of big cities)—tend to be of particular interest in terms of global climate change. After GIS modeling of [...] Read more.
The potential distribution of tropical fish species in Eastern Europe—Gambusia holbrooki (introduced for biological control) and Poecilia reticulata (aquarium species, found in waste waters of big cities)—tend to be of particular interest in terms of global climate change. After GIS modeling of our own data and findings listed in the GBIF databases (2278 points for G. holbrooki and 1410 points for P. reticulata) using the Maxent package and ‘ntbox’ package in R, 18 uncorrelated variables of 35 Bioclim climatic parameters from CliMond dataset, it was found out that by 2090 guppies will appear in the south of Ukraine (Danube river’s estuary, as well as in several places in the Caucasus and Turkey with habitat suitability > 0.3–0.5). G. holbrooki will also slightly expand its range in Europe. Limiting factors for G. holbrooki distribution are: bio1 (Annual mean temperature, optimum +12–+24 °C) and bio19 (Precipitation of coldest quarter (mm). Limiting factors for P. reticulata are: bio1 (optimum +14–+28 °C), bio4 (Temperature seasonality), bio3 (Isothermality). Unlike G. holbrooki, guppies prefer warmer waters. Such thermophilic fish species do not compete with the native ichthyofauna, but they can occupy niches in anthropogenically transformed habitats, playing an important role as agents of biological control. Full article
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Article
Bee Guilds’ Responses to Urbanization in Neotropics: A Case Study
Diversity 2021, 13(8), 365; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13080365 - 07 Aug 2021
Viewed by 622
Abstract
The consequent deforestation of urban sprawl is one of the causes of the decline of wild bee communities. In this context, urban green areas (UGA) may play an important role and constitute refuge areas for bees. This study analyzed the influence of UGA [...] Read more.
The consequent deforestation of urban sprawl is one of the causes of the decline of wild bee communities. In this context, urban green areas (UGA) may play an important role and constitute refuge areas for bees. This study analyzed the influence of UGA conditions and their surroundings in bee guilds’ responses in a medium-sized Brazilian city (Campos dos Goytacazes, RJ). The bees were sampled for 12 months (2017–2018) in 12 UGAs, and bee abundance and species richness were evaluated in guilds considering: nesting behavior, nesting site, and trophic specialization. We used as explanatory variables conditions of UGAs—the number of trees (NT), diameter at breast height (DBH), flower cover (FC), plant richness (PR), percentage of paving (PV)—and of their surroundings—paving (SPV) and the number of buildings (NB). Results showed 80% of eusocial bees, 82% nest in cavities, and 99% were generalists. FC, DBH, and NB mainly explained the responses of different guilds in study areas from all explanatory variables. Thus, this study confirms different responses associated with bee guilds’ attributes. In order to conserve bee diversity, city planning must include more green areas with large flower covers and avoid long corridors of high buildings that can impact bee dispersion. Full article
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Article
Biodiversity of Russian Local Sheep Breeds Based on Pattern of Runs of Homozygosity
Diversity 2021, 13(8), 360; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13080360 - 04 Aug 2021
Viewed by 641
Abstract
Russian sheep breeds traditionally raised in specific environments are valuable parts of sociocultural heritage and economic component of the regions. However, the import of commercial breeds negatively influences the population sizes of local sheep populations and might lead to biodiversity loss. Estimation of [...] Read more.
Russian sheep breeds traditionally raised in specific environments are valuable parts of sociocultural heritage and economic component of the regions. However, the import of commercial breeds negatively influences the population sizes of local sheep populations and might lead to biodiversity loss. Estimation of the runs of homozygosity (ROH) in local sheep genomes is an informative tool to address their current genetic state. In this work, we aimed to address the ROH distribution and to estimate genome inbreeding based on SNP data to evaluate genetic diversity in Russian local sheep breeds. Materials for this study included SNP-genotypes from twenty-seven Russian local sheep breeds which were generated using the Illumina OvineSNP50 BeadChip (n = 391) or the Illumina Ovine Infinium HD BeadChip (n = 315). A consecutive runs method was used to calculate ROH which were estimated for each animal and then categorized in the ROH length classes. The ROH were found in all breeds. The mean ROH length varied from 86 to 280 Mb, while the ROH number ranged from 37 to 123. The genomic inbreeding coefficient varied from 0.033 to 0.106. Our findings provide evidence of low to moderate genomic inbreeding in major local sheep populations. Full article
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Article
Comparative Study of the Genetic Diversity of Local Steppe Cattle Breeds from Russia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan by Microsatellite Analysis of Museum and Modern Samples
Diversity 2021, 13(8), 351; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13080351 - 30 Jul 2021
Viewed by 698
Abstract
The comparative molecular genetic study of museum and modern representatives of cattle breeds can help to elucidate the origin and maintenance of historical genetic components in modern populations. We generated the consensus genotypes for 11 microsatellite loci for 24 museum samples of Kalmyk, [...] Read more.
The comparative molecular genetic study of museum and modern representatives of cattle breeds can help to elucidate the origin and maintenance of historical genetic components in modern populations. We generated the consensus genotypes for 11 microsatellite loci for 24 museum samples of Kalmyk, Kyrgyz, and Kazakh cattle, dated from the first quarter of the 20th century, and compared them with those of modern Kalmyk, Kyrgyz, and Kazakh white-headed breeds. The level of genetic diversity of the modern Kalmyk and Kyrgyz cattle (uHe = 0.771–0.778) was similar to those observed in the museum samples (uHe = 0.772–0.776), while a visible decrease in genetic variability in the modern Kazakh white-headed breed compared to museum Kazakh cattle was detected (uHe = 0.726 and 0.767, respectively). The PCA plot, FST- and Jost’s D-based networks, and STRUCTURE clustering provided strong evidence of the maintenance of the historical genetic background in modern populations of Kalmyk and Kyrgyz cattle. In spite of the allele pool of Kazakh white-headed cattle having undergone great changes compared to the museum Kazakh cattle, several animals still carry the visible aspect of the historical genetic components. Our results can be used for the selection of individuals for the creation of gene banks and may significantly improve the efficiency of conservation programs aimed at preserving genetic diversity in the national genetic resources of cattle. Full article
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Article
An Assessment of Applicability of SNP Chip Developed for Domestic Goats in Genetic Studies of Caucasian Tur (Capra caucasica)
Diversity 2021, 13(7), 312; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13070312 - 08 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 748
Abstract
Caucasian tur (Capra caucasica) is native to Greater Caucasus Mountain Chain from Azerbaijan and Georgia in the East to Krasnodar region of Russia in the West. This species is divided into two subspecies (by some authors into species)—East-Caucasian tur and West-Caucasian [...] Read more.
Caucasian tur (Capra caucasica) is native to Greater Caucasus Mountain Chain from Azerbaijan and Georgia in the East to Krasnodar region of Russia in the West. This species is divided into two subspecies (by some authors into species)—East-Caucasian tur and West-Caucasian tur and a subpopulation referred to as Mid-Caucasian tur. Up to date most of the genetic studies of Caucasian tur are based on mitochondrial DNA sequences and comprehensive investigation based on nuclear DNA is required for clarification of its genetic diversity and population structure. In our work, we assessed the applicability of Illumina Goat SNP50 BeadChip for genetic studies of Caucasian tur. Total of 15 specimens of Capra caucasica including East-Caucasian tur from Dagestan (E_TUR, n = 5), West-Caucasian tur from Karachay-Cherkessia (W_TUR, n = 5), and Mid-Caucasian tur from Kabardino-Balkaria (M_TUR, n = 5) were genotyped. After quality control, 5544 polymorphic loci, which were distributed all over 29 autosomes, were detected. The lowest number of SNPs was found on the 25th chromosome—68, and the highest on the 1st chromosome—348. It was shown that all the three groups of Caucasian tur clustered separately. A total of 2061 SNPs were common for all the populations, 594 were found only in W_TUR, 689 in E_TUR, and 530 in M_TUR. Individual heterozygosity ranged from 0.273 to 0.282 in W_TUR, from 0.217 to 0.253 in E_TUR, and from 0.255 to 0.283 in M_TUR. A clinal pattern of genetic variation was revealed. It was suggested to consider Caucasian tur a single species with several ecotypes. Thus, in our study we demonstrated that the Illumina Goat SNP50 BeadChip developed for domestic goats can be used as a useful tool for genetic studies of Caucasian tur. Full article
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Article
The Bird Assemblage of the Darwin Region (Australia): What Is the Effect of Twenty Years of Increasing Urbanisation?
Diversity 2021, 13(7), 294; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13070294 - 28 Jun 2021
Viewed by 598
Abstract
There has been considerable urban development in the Darwin region over the last twenty years; as for most fauna in Australia since colonisation, the potential effects to the bird assemblage were expected to be disastrous. To provide a broad overview of changes, bird [...] Read more.
There has been considerable urban development in the Darwin region over the last twenty years; as for most fauna in Australia since colonisation, the potential effects to the bird assemblage were expected to be disastrous. To provide a broad overview of changes, bird survey data from 1998 and 2018 were extracted from BirdLife Australia’s ‘Atlas of Australian Birds’ database. A total of 165 species were categorised into primary food source feeding guilds and levels of food specialisation. This was integrated into ArcGIS along with land use change mapping from 1998 and 2018 to investigate its impact on bird assemblages. There was no significant change in overall species numbers when all sites were analysed. However, when sites were separated into those with increased urbanisation or decreased greenspace, several sites showed a significant change in the number of species. For the majority of species, analysis of primary food types found no difference in the proportion of species within the assemblages between 1998 and 2018, regardless of the level of urbanisation or greenspace; the exception being those species that primarily feed on insects, where the difference was just significant. An analysis using bird community data sorted into levels of food specialisation also found no difference between 1998 and 2018 despite habitat changes. These findings suggest that although there has been considerable urban development in the Darwin region, bird communities are remaining relatively stable. Full article
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Article
The Effect of Climate and Human Pressures on Functional Diversity and Species Richness Patterns of Amphibians, Reptiles and Mammals in Europe
Diversity 2021, 13(6), 275; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13060275 - 18 Jun 2021
Viewed by 711
Abstract
The ongoing biodiversity crisis reinforces the urgent need to unravel diversity patterns and the underlying processes shaping them. Although taxonomic diversity has been extensively studied and is considered the common currency, simultaneously conserving other facets of diversity (e.g., functional diversity) is critical to [...] Read more.
The ongoing biodiversity crisis reinforces the urgent need to unravel diversity patterns and the underlying processes shaping them. Although taxonomic diversity has been extensively studied and is considered the common currency, simultaneously conserving other facets of diversity (e.g., functional diversity) is critical to ensure ecosystem functioning and the provision of ecosystem services. Here, we explored the effect of key climatic factors (temperature, precipitation, temperature seasonality, and precipitation seasonality) and factors reflecting human pressures (agricultural land, urban land, land-cover diversity, and human population density) on the functional diversity (functional richness and Rao’s quadratic entropy) and species richness of amphibians (68 species), reptiles (107 species), and mammals (176 species) in Europe. We explored the relationship between different predictors and diversity metrics using generalized additive mixed model analysis, to capture non-linear relationships and to account for spatial autocorrelation. We found that at this broad continental spatial scale, climatic variables exerted a significant effect on the functional diversity and species richness of all taxa. On the other hand, variables reflecting human pressures contributed significantly in the models even though their explanatory power was lower compared to climatic variables. In most cases, functional richness and Rao’s quadratic entropy responded similarly to climate and human pressures. In conclusion, climate is the most influential factor in shaping both the functional diversity and species richness patterns of amphibians, reptiles, and mammals in Europe. However, incorporating factors reflecting human pressures complementary to climate could be conducive to us understanding the drivers of functional diversity and richness patterns. Full article
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Article
Biogeographic Distribution of Cedrela spp. Genus in Peru Using MaxEnt Modeling: A Conservation and Restoration Approach
Diversity 2021, 13(6), 261; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13060261 - 10 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1337
Abstract
The increasing demand for tropical timber from natural forests has reduced the population sizes of native species such as Cedrela spp. because of their high economic value. To prevent the decline of population sizes of the species, all Cedrela species have been incorporated [...] Read more.
The increasing demand for tropical timber from natural forests has reduced the population sizes of native species such as Cedrela spp. because of their high economic value. To prevent the decline of population sizes of the species, all Cedrela species have been incorporated into Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The study presents information about the modeled distribution of the genus Cedrela in Peru that aims to identify potential habitat distribution of the genus, its availability in areas protected by national service of protected areas, and highlighted some areas because of their conservation relevance and the potential need for restoration. We modeled the distribution of the genus Cedrela in Peru using 947 occurrence records that included 10 species (C. odorata, C. montana, C. fissilis, C. longipetiolulata, C. angustifolia, C. nebulosa, C. kuelapensis, C. saltensis, C. weberbaueri, and C. molinensis). We aim to identify areas environmentally suitable for the occurrence of Cedrela that are legally protected by the National Service of Protected Areas (PAs) and those that are ideal for research and restoration projects. We used various environmental variables (19 bioclimatic variables, 3 topographic factors, 9 edaphic factors, solar radiation, and relative humidity) and the maximum entropy model (MaxEnt) to predict the probability of occurrence. We observed that 6.7% (86,916.2 km2) of Peru presents a high distribution probability of occurrence of Cedrela, distributed in 17 departments, with 4.4% (10,171.03 km2) of the area protected by PAs mainly under the category of protection forests. Another 11.65% (21,345.16 km2) of distribution covers areas highly prone to degradation, distributed mainly in the departments Ucayali, Loreto, and Madre de Dios, and needs immediate attention for its protection and restoration. We believe that the study will contribute significantly to conserve Cedrela and other endangered species, as well as to promote the sustainable use and management of timber species as a whole. Full article
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Article
Diversity of Algae and Cyanobacteria and Bioindication Characteristics of the Alpine Lake Nesamovyte (Eastern Carpathians, Ukraine) from 100 Years Ago to the Present
Diversity 2021, 13(6), 256; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13060256 - 08 Jun 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 783
Abstract
The species diversity and changes in the structural dynamics of the algal flora from the alpine lake Nesamovyte has been studied for 100 years. During the period of investigations, 234 species (245 infraspecific taxa) were revealed to cover more than 70% of the [...] Read more.
The species diversity and changes in the structural dynamics of the algal flora from the alpine lake Nesamovyte has been studied for 100 years. During the period of investigations, 234 species (245 infraspecific taxa) were revealed to cover more than 70% of the modern species composition of the studied lake. The modern biodiversity of algae is characterized by an increase in the number of widespread forms, a change from the baseline “montane” complex in comparison to the beginning of the 20th century. Nevertheless, the Nesamovyte Lake still has a unique algae composition that is typical for high-mountainous European lakes. The presence of a different complex of conventionally arctic species of algae, in particular, diatoms is discussed. Structural changes in the taxonomic composition of the algal flora of the lake as well as in the complex of the leading genera, species and their diversity are revealed. An ecological analysis of the algal species composition of the lake showed vulnerability and degradation to the ecosystem of the lake. On this basis, the issue regarding the question of protection and preservation of the algae significance and uniqueness of the flora of algae in the Nesamovyte Lake are discussed. Full article
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Article
Patterns of Spatial Overlap between Non-Indigenous and Critically Endangered Freshwater Fishes from a Mediterranean Biodiversity Hotspot
Diversity 2021, 13(6), 233; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13060233 - 26 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 972
Abstract
Non-indigenous fish species (NIFS) can cause severe ecological impacts on the invaded ecosystems and are considered as one of the leading factors of freshwater biodiversity loss. Unraveling the spatial overlap between NIFS and critically endangered (CR) fish species can contribute to targeted conservation [...] Read more.
Non-indigenous fish species (NIFS) can cause severe ecological impacts on the invaded ecosystems and are considered as one of the leading factors of freshwater biodiversity loss. Unraveling the spatial overlap between NIFS and critically endangered (CR) fish species can contribute to targeted conservation actions to minimize the potential negative effects. In this study, we applied geostatistical analyses to investigate the spatial overlap of NIFS against fish species that are designated under the CR status according to the IUCN and the Hellenic Zoological Society (HZS) Red Lists. Distributional data (presence–absence) from 800 records of 52 NIFS were compiled for both lentic and lotic ecosystems of Greece. Our results indicate that freshwater ecosystems under high NIFS richness were located mainly in lowland areas and often near large cities and ecosystems with well-developed commercial and recreational fisheries. On the contrary, low NIFS richness was observed in mountainous regions and in relatively small river basins. Overlapping areas of CR species with moderate to high NIFS richness (1.5–4.3 NIFS per 1 km2) were relatively high (~50%). A quarter of the overlapping areas (24.8%) fall within NATURA 2000 network, where legal management bodies could implement specialized programs to minimize the negative impacts. However, the majority of CR fish species’ distribution remains in unprotected areas indicating that protected areas should be re-designed to include areas containing freshwater species under the highest threatened category. Our findings demonstrate that whole assemblages of fishes are rapidly changing as NIFS spread into Greece and many freshwater ecosystems of outstanding biodiversity conservation value are under significant invasion pressure. Full article
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Article
A Comparative Analysis of the Diets of a Genus of Freshwater Turtles across Africa
Diversity 2021, 13(4), 165; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13040165 - 12 Apr 2021
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Abstract
Pelusios (Testudines: Pleurodira) is an Afrotropical endemic genus of freshwater turtles that have adapted to a variety of habitats, with savannahs and forests being their two main habitat types. Although considered generally carnivorous, these turtles have rarely been subjected to detailed field surveys [...] Read more.
Pelusios (Testudines: Pleurodira) is an Afrotropical endemic genus of freshwater turtles that have adapted to a variety of habitats, with savannahs and forests being their two main habitat types. Although considered generally carnivorous, these turtles have rarely been subjected to detailed field surveys for determining their quantitative diet. In this paper, by using both the literature and original data, we analyze the diet of several Pelusios populations: three P. adansonii populations from South Sudan, one P. nanus from Zambia, seven P. castaneus from Nigeria, Benin and Togo, and four P. niger from Nigeria. All species were omnivorous but with a clear preponderance of the prey items being of animal origin (e.g., amphibians, fish, arthropods and annelids). Saturation curves revealed that the diet composition of all the surveyed populations was adequately assessed, and the diversity profiles indicated that all the populations were relatively similar in terms of overall dietary diversity. General Linear Models (GLM) showed a negative effect of vegetation cover on Anura adult consumption by turtles, and showed that the frequencies of Anura tadpoles, fish, reptiles and birds on Pelusios diets increased with the increase in vegetation cover. The GLM model also showed positive effects of individual body size on algae, Bivalvia, reptiles, birds and small mammal consumption by turtles, and underlined that the predation on Arachnida decreased with the increase in turtle body size. In all species, there were no significant intersexual dietary differences, whereas there were substantial ontogenetic dietary changes in three out of four species. Small-sized individuals of P. castaneus, P. niger and P. adansonii tended to feed mainly upon insects, with the adults also taking many fish and adult frogs, and in the case of P. niger, also birds and small mammals. Conversely, in P. nanus, the diet composition did not vary substantially from the juvenile to the adult age. All species appeared substantially generalist in terms of their diet composition, although the effects of season (wet versus dry) were not adequately assessed by our study. Full article
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